Poppy bloom

Now as the month of July comes to an end, the poppies in the garden are beginning to bloom. It’s always a surprise to which color will appear but at present, we have this one, big, pink flower the size of my fist. Very cool flowers and always nice seeing them. _MG_0030.jpg

Solar Eruption

On July 23rd, 2017 the sun released a huge Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from the same sunspot group that sent a mid-sized CME toward the earth about a week ago and put the earth into a KP-6 level geomagnetic storm. It also happened on the earth’s magnetic connection to the sun which put the earth into a pretty high proton surge which lasted a couple of days.

The CME that occurred yesterday could have had a detrimental effect to earth  had it been shot at us. Detrimental by means of electrical issues and possible satellite problems or destruction. Fortunately this CME is headed toward Mars and although we won’t be affected by this, our satellites and probes on and around Mars, could be and are probably being positioned to minimize any potential threats such as orbital positioning. CME’s tend to heat up satellites which could leave the out of commission until they cool off or worse, completely destroy their circuitry. As for Curiosity, it could experience short circuits as well since Mars has such a weak and patchy magnetosphere and atmosphere. I’m sure all will be ok since it appears Mars will not be getting a direct hit and there have been worse CME’s in the past but equipment ages and this could cause issues.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of this and if the MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) satellite will detect anything cool.

Here’s what the CME looked like from the view of earth. The ejecta is blasting away from the earth but is so large it engulfs the sun in size. This stuff gets me so excited!




This is one of my favorite pictures. I took this of my daughter when we had our spring bonfires. This is an old tradition that marks the beginning of fresh starts and looking forward to the future. In most cases, that future being summer. After a long winter, everyone is ready for some daylight and everyone hopes for many sunny days.

Summer here is a toss of the coin. Summer could bring some solid, sunny days or it could rain the entire summer. Everyone always hopes for at least something in between but weather is never a guarantee up here. The one thing that is guaranteed for my family and me is there will be some fishing and a lot of time spent outdoors.




Soccer Elite

One of my daughters is on a soccer team and they recently had their last game of the season. Usually, I don’t appreciate soccer mostly due to the professional playing tactic of faking injuries really gets my blood boiling that those kind of false flags aren’t punished and are tolerated. That leaves the realm of sportsmanship and enters politics in my opinion. However, at the root of the sport and where money and fame aren’t a main driver, where playing for the fun and competition are the focus, I begin to appreciate the actual game. So far and without much research I can say that young kids playing the game is actually fun to watch. At least when they get hurt, they shed a tear or two and actually hop off the field and sit the rest of the game out. It’s also nice to see that whether they win or lose the game ends with mostly smiles and the satisfaction that they had fun.

In this photo, one of the team mates on my daughter’s team is giving it all she’s got with an impressive roundhouse/axe kick. It’s one of my favorite soccer photos that I’ve taken. 100% commitment. _MG_9409

The Mantis

On my last full day in Cyprus I came across this deadly creature. ;-D

A Praying Mantis out on a stroll over some ice plant. If you’ve never played around with or seen a praying mantis growing up, they’re very harmless. They’re a great asset in a garden because they love eating insects that eat your vegetables. They seem to be highly intelligent for an insect because they can turn their heads and they look at you. This one in particular was moving back and forth as if the wind was moving it. When I approached she stopped and turned her head at me and her two little eyes moved toward me. It’s kind of a creepy feeling because they look so wicked.

I disturbed her just long enough to snap a couple of pictures of her and then I left. Always cool to see one of these, especially one as big as she was.

European Mantis/ Mantis Religiosa, Ayianapa, Cyprus